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Old 11-05-2017, 11:32 PM   #21
discus
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Default Re: Restoring Exterior Plastic Body Panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiltym View Post
discus,



Just curious, you posted using SEM Bumper Coater on bumpers and rear wheel trim. You seem fairly confident something like this would not work on the panels.....



Wondering why? Because of thickness of material, is that "key" to keeping it from cracking again? If the cracks are filled with something like caulk that can expand/contract, and the paint is flexible. it seems it would work (but I really have no idea!). But a few comments here imply it wont because of the contraction/expansion due to heat.



In your case, using the filler, filled the cracks, but it seems you are relying on the bedliner to eliminate the contraction/expansion going forward, otherwise the filler would just crack over time, I assume. Or is the adhesive you used "flexible" like a caulk?



Spending $400-$500 to have it sprayed with bed liner is bit out of my budget for plastic trim, although I am sure it works well.



Appreciate everyone's input.


I agree with you. Its not worth it.

I didnít have to pay for product. If I had to pay for it, I would remove the plastic, have my body shop spray a textured coating that they use on the rocker panels, then spray it black.

There is too much movement in that large piece of brittle plastic. It will crack again.

Bumper coater is just paint. Not a high build product.


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Old 11-06-2017, 12:10 AM   #22
OldWest
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Default Re: Restoring Exterior Plastic Body Panels

As these Westies become classics, various methods of preservation. Interesting to see what VW collectors do.

Some want all original, including replacements.

Some want all original, no replacements but repairs okay.

Some want all original, no replacements and no cosmetic repairs (maintain the rust patina, other warts, etc.). I read an article in some VW magazine re a VW van total mechanical restoration but the rusty exterior patina was preserved--German police pulled them over for driving an unsafe vehicle until the police saw the total restored mechanicals.

Some want improvements.

Etc.
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Old 11-06-2017, 05:35 AM   #23
Camp
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Default Re: Restoring Exterior Plastic Body Panels

I've seen pictures from Europe of the side plastic panel replaced with OEM Mercedes glass.

https://www.furgovw.org/galeria/foto...o-Party-32.jpg

It looks like a lot of time and money, but is probably the cleanest "repair" that doesn't use the Westfalia panels. The water filler would have to be relocated, and I have no clue if there is anything mounted behind the steel window panel. I'm fairly certain that the biggest challenge would be removing all the metal shavings inside the van after cutting the opening. However, it definitely is a very factory look when completed.
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Old 11-06-2017, 05:59 AM   #24
OldWest
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Default Re: Restoring Exterior Plastic Body Panels

Interesting van. A glass window seems to be a lot of work and weight for a retrofit. Another modification would be bodywork to eliminate the window indentation--so smooth bodywork sheetmetal.

Another possibility besides a glass window instead of the rear black panel is that this is a semi-DIY Westy. Someone owned a glassed in Sprinter (with 270 degree opening rear doors and rear step bumper) and purchased one of the leftover Westfalia NAFTA kits (modified for the Truma water boiler). But, the rear doors do have the fake louver shroud panels.

I think the leftover kits were a really good deal. But would have to add all the labor.

I've seen a photo of a white Westy which had the tall rear doors (for a full-standing height Sprinter) and if I remember correctly, no upper window vents in the fiberglass top.

There is also the German shop which can replace.the fiberglass top (so presumably could add one as well).

So these may be variations of the Westfalia leftover kits or custom versions.

Would be interesting to know.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:43 AM   #25
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Default Re: Restoring Exterior Plastic Body Panels

I have looked at that light blue van many times, and still can't tell if it is a James Cook Westy or just a really good DIY project. I just can't imagine cutting behind the kitchen and bathroom! Still, that piece of glass is fairly cheap and easy to come by (unlike so many Westy parts). If it breaks, you can just pick up a new one at a dealer or glass shop.

This may be that white DIY one with the tall rear doors. It shows the "lovely" window cutout Mercedes gifted us under the plastic panel! (Not sure where I first saw this, so sorry if it's already been on here or the Yahoo Group)
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:06 PM   #26
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Default Re: Restoring Exterior Plastic Body Panels

Just an update. I tried to fill one of the cracks with a good caulk, but it did not endure even a week or so of driving around. I realize I will get a "told you so" :), but wanted to at least post the results. Cleaned it all out to start over :).

Also, spoke to the local Line-X dealer, they will spray the panel for ~$250. Which is not too crazy. However, they will not warranty it 1 day since it is going on plastic and they have no idea if they material will stick to the panel or not. Based on discus, it seems to.

Next phase, I ordered some of the plastic bond/adhesive and will try that in a crack or two and drive around for a week and see how it goes. If it holds OK, will prep all the cracks and then make a decision on DIY paint or Line-X. Here is what I ordered and will try, and will report back results: https://www.jbweld.com/products/j-b-...bonder-syringe

It is a urethane based adhesive, which should provide some flex without cracking. We shall see.
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Old Yesterday, 08:11 AM   #27
MrTomacco
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Default Re: Restoring Exterior Plastic Body Panels

Has anyone contacted a plastic vacuum forming company or a fiberglass company to make a mold and produce the plastic panels? Since you can't take it off the vehicle without destroying it, making an exact mold would require doing it on the vehicle. Perhaps a close enough mold could be made and a more resistant plastic or fiberglass be used.

Rob
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